July 23, 2024

Rafael Silkskin:

This archived article was written by: Kiara Horowitz

I crept quiet and swift, like a shadow, toward the king and queen’s bedchamber. It was difficult to keep back a smirk. The guards were there to keep out trespassers, but they never saw me coming. And who would? A young man in the shadows is never noticed. This would be easy, what else could it be since I was taught by the best.
Placing my hand on the door, the wood blurred and I stepped through. I stood in the room for a moment taking in my surroundings. I glanced at the large bed where the king and queen lay sleeping, snoring loudly. I smiled, nothing could wake them.
The moonlight filtering in through the windows of the doors of the balcony gave me all the light I needed. My reason for being here lay in a crib on the other side of the room. I approached and leaned on the side of the crib. The baby, Prince Bradmir, lay in the mist of pillows and blankets still wide awake. That didn’t surprise me, the child was about a month old and in a room this noisy, who could sleep?
“Hey, little guy,” I whispered, gently stroking his cheek. “You probably don’t remember me.” Bradmir’s little hands reached up grabbing mine. I leaned closer, one of Bradmir’s hands tried to seize the scruff on my face. Luckily for me it was too short so he only succeeded in brushing my cheek. “Copy cat,” I smiled and straightened up.
Bradmir returned the smile and tried to laugh, but only managed a gurgled. “Don’t worry, I noticed you’re cute.” I sighed, reaching into the brown-leather holster strapped to my waist and leg, pulling out a small red-leather pouch containing a variety of knives each especially crafted for a different purpose. I took out the one I wanted. At first glance it looked like a dull, iron model of a dragon’s head, but when I gently pressed down on the horn in the middle of it’s forehead, a short crystal-clear blade ejected from its open mouth. Glow blades were the best for work in the dark.
“I’m sorry about this, but I have a job to do.” I took his left hand. My thumb rubbed his palm, the nails on my hand glowed gold, numbing the babe’s hand. “That should help.” I placed the blade against the child’s middle finger and made a tiny cut. In the dim light I couldn’t make out the color of the blood. The blade sucked in the blood like a sponge, turning it dark blue.
I raised an eyebrow, I did not see that coming. At least it explained why Randolf insisted that I double check before tomorrow. I released the dragon’s horn and the blade retreated back. I returned the knife to its place in the pouch and shoved it into the holster. Well, this was great. Not only were Randolf and I out of a paycheck, but it didn’t make sense either. His blood should have been gold.
I gave myself a good shake. The answers to these questions were not going to come to me while I stood in the royal bedchamber. I needed to talk to Randolf.
“Well, kid,” I breathed. “After tomorrow you’ll never see me again,” I shrugged, “Unless you do something stupid.”
I walked to the balcony doors and placed my hand on it. A quick step through and I was on the balcony. I leapt onto the rail then dropped to the lower roof. Sliding down the shingles, I reached the edge, fell and landed on the guard wall. I rolled a few feet behind a barrel. Sitting still I listened carefully, but no one noticed. Once I was satisfied that the guards hadn’t heard me, I breathed into my hand. The night was warm, but my breath made a ball of vapor. The ball twisted into different shapes. I studied them, there were four guards I needed to worry about. Two were talking, one was asleep, the fourth was walking in a steady rhythm. Memorizing the beat, I took my chance.
Jumping onto the barrel, I threw myself over the wall. The wind whipped past me, straightening my curly hair. I hit the ground and rolled several yards away from the castle. When I finally came to a halt, I lay flat on my back staring up at the star filled sky and waited for the trees to stop spinning. Once everything seemed solid, I got to my feet and vanished into the forest.